Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
It was the end of the semester and final exams were coming up. most of my classes were going well (some better that others). But there was this one class in particular that I treated differently than the rest. It was an easy, one credit, conducting class. It was a pretty easy class, so the entire semester I never really worked very hard at it. Well it came time for the final and guess what I had in the class. I had a D!! ok not really…I had an annoying B+!! it was right there below an A , and it was kind of annoying. Well, I decided to go talk to my teacher for the class and find out if there would be enough points on the final to pull my grade up to an A. This particular teacher had an unusual way of giving points and figuring out the grades, so we sat down and started figuring. Sure enough I would need a 55/55 on the final to get a 90% in the class. Upon hearing that, I impetuously (stupidly) exclaimed that I was going to “ace that final”! That would have been fine, except for the fact that no one that I know of had gotten 100% on any of the conducting performances the entire semester! (I know I sure didn’t) but I had said that I would do it, so I started getting ready. I was serious about this, I had given my word that I was going to get an A in this class. So here I am practicing, studying, getting ready and I hear some good news. The teacher had felt bad for some of my classmates who weren’t doing quite as well and she had scheduled a few optional help classes. I thought, “hey why not” and went. It helped and she had another one scheduled for another section of the class on the next night…I wasn’t doing anything, so I went. Guess what! There were a few people who asked for help who couldn’t make it to either of the other times, so she scheduled a third time. Yep, you guessed it, I went. Every time I walked in the room and that teacher saw me she would just about start laughing, but I was going to get an A if it killed me! Finally it came to the day of the test and I decided to tally up how much time I had spent preparing for this one class. Now you have to remember that this is a ONE credit class (close to worthless), and I had previously prepared about 20-30 minutes for any of the tests in the class. Well, I finished tallying and over the last 5 days I had spent a total of about 8.5 HOURS preparing for this final. It came to my turn to conduct and it felt good. I nailed it, I dominated that test, I did so well I had people walking up and asking for autographs! (ok I guess not) but I felt I did the absolute best I could! Then I got my grade…54/55. I had an 89.7 in the class! SO CLOSE! I had labored diligently and had come so close, but ended up getting nothing! Isn’t that what we’re afraid of so often in our Christian lives? We have this fear that sits in the back of our minds and it says “what happens if God doesn’t notice” or maybe its saying “you’re doing all of this work and what do you get for it? Nothing!” I mean think about it! You can look around at your neighbors and actually ‘see’ the progress they’re making. But when it comes to the priorities in your life…well the ones that scriptures says you should have anyways……sometimes its hard to see the success or even the progress. We gave the Lord our word that we would serve him fully and yet we’re afraid that we wont see any fruit from our labors, so we stop. We give up on our personal time with the Lord. We give up on witnessing to our coworkers (they’ve already heard it twice anyways!). We give up coming to church. We give up LONG before the Lord says we should. Guess what, the conducting story doesn’t end there. I had forgotten that most teachers will round your grade up if you are that close to the edge. So even though I didn’t get exactly what I thought I should get the Lord provided me with my A anyways! HEY! It’s the same thing for you! The Lord might not give you exactly the results you think you should have! But when we obey his commands diligently he does promise that he sees and will reward our diligent effort. Perhaps that friend didn’t get saved right away, but keep witnessing. Maybe you are still fighting to survive one trial after another, keep going! The Lord will give you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. All we have to do is “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Unfortunately, we often work much harder on our ‘other’ priorities that will not last. If I had used those last few days during the semester to work on improving my basketball game (which I would like to do) then I would have been stuck with the lower grade. My jumpshot may have been better, but my GPA would have been lower. Let’s look at it another way, my car may be nicer but my walk with God would be weaker. My video game talents may be unsurpassed but my witness is nonexistent. My influence for God? My ministry in our local church? That opportunity to be a blessing to the neighbors? Will all be forgotten and past by if we do not labor on steadfastly by the grace of God. He never says it will be easy. He never even says it will be fun (he does say he will give joy). But he does say we must, and he will honor and bless the hard work.
Why did I spend so much time getting ready for that final exam? Why do we spend so much time working towards the final return of our God? So that he can say to us “well done my good and faithful servant…enter thou in the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21)!